Botched art restorations is nothing new, especially to a country like Spain. Two notable examples: In 2012, Elías García Martínez’s fresco painting Ecce Homo was disfigured by a local parishioner, which gave the painting the nickname Monkey Jesus.
In 2018, a 15th century shrine was repainted in bright shades of blue, pink, and chartreuse by a woman in the village of Rañadorio.
Now with this recent incident of restoration gone wrong, people have been critical but not really surprised.
The art in question at the moment is a sculpture depicting a smiling woman surrounded by livestock. This can be found as part of a bank’s building facade in the city of Palencia.
The figure goes way back to 1923 and naturally some of its features have become weathered, although still unrecognizable. Someone “restored” the sculpture, but the face ended up looking cartoonish. A lot say that it now resembles Mr. Potato Head or Donald Trump.
“It looks like a cartoon character,” said local painter Antonio Guzmán Capel. He uploaded pictures of the ruined figure on Facebook after he saw it last week. He blamed the supposed travesty on the “restorer”.
Capel went on to accuse the “restorer” of wrongdoing.
Spain’s Professional Association of Conservators and Restorers (ACRE) also condemned the botched job, saying that “It’s a NON-professional intervention.”
Under Spanish law, amateurs are currently allowed to repair historic artworks, understandably drawing lots of protests from artists and art lovers alike.
“I’m sure whoever did it got paid for it. But the bigger crime was committed by the person who commissioned it and then tried to carry on as though nothing was wrong,” Capel said on an interview with The Independent.
The person responsible for the restoration and the one who commissioned it have yet to be identified.
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